The project site is located along Orcas Island’s West Sound, which is one of San Juan County’s four priority forage fish spawning regions. The goal of this project was to restore a pocket beach and improve its functions as spawning and rearing habitat for forage fish and rearing habitat for juvenile salmon. To achieve this goal, Friends, landowners, project sponsors, and partners removed extensive toxic creosote materials, as well as over 530 tons of bank and beach rock and fill to unbury the upper beach and bank, re-graded the bank slope, and replanted nearly 1,600 native trees and shrubs. The removal reconnected the sediment supply bank, backshore and riparian areas, unburied forage fish spawning habitat, and provided rearing and prey benefits to the multiple species of juvenile fish.
This project was a partnership between Friends of the San Juans, Coastal Geologic Services, and the private landowners, who committed significant resources to improving habitat conditions on their property. The landowners also relocated the primary residence from 40 ft. from the shoreline, to a new location over 160 feet from the shoreline. In addition, a large creosote dock, pier and pilings were replaced with non-toxic and fully grated, light permeable materials.
Project acknowledgements: Family Tides Farms and Coastal Geologic Services.
Funding was provided by the private landowners and the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board.